Thursday, August 06, 2009

A dinner of like-minded diners...

You know how something sounds odd, but it's not? There is a taxi driver who takes the Observer, myself and friends throughout the city. He is a super sweet guy. For as long as I've known him, the driver has gone well beyond the call of duty. He cares about his customers, and in turn, we care about him. The driver has a daughter who lives in Europe somewhere. I wish I knew exactly where, but she travels a lot, so I'm not sure where. For months, our friendly driver has been anticipating a visit from his daughter. He asked the Observer, myself, our engaged friends and two other kind friends to meet himself and his daughter at Jack Astor's. Since he is such a kind man, we all agreed.

Explaining to my family that I was a meeting a taxi driver and his daughter (who was a stranger up until last night) at a restaurant sounded weird. We don't normally meet people who provide public services in social settings. It's just not something that happens often. It goes against what is the norm - in my opinion at least. That said, this taxi driver is exceptional. There isn't anyone like him. Exceptional people call for exceptions to rules. As a person who is different and lives differently, I am faced with this reality every day. When people fail to see that sometimes rules need to be bent, it can be frustrating. There is a risk of missing out on valuable experiences.

I was late arriving at the restaurant. Mom and I met at the mall nearby. I was bursting to pee. She was rushing on her way to check on Grandpa. Somehow we lost each other on the way to the bathroom. Knowing she was in a rush, I got very nervous. I stayed in one spot. I am forever getting lost in the mall. I don't know why. Mom looked flustered. I felt bad holding her up, but I was dying to pee. The bathroom was filthy. Mom was disgusted. I had to go so badly that I didn't care. I would have peed in a hole in the ground. I felt better and Mom got to clean my ears. She took my laundry and gave me a backpack full of fruit and clean clothes. My brother was waiting in the parking lot and I saw his new SUV. I missed them both as soon as we said goodbye.

Crossing the road to get to the mall, I encountered construction and had trouble crossing the road. My hand got stuck in yellow construction tape. A kind lady got out of her care and helped me get safely across. I LOVE people like her. The taxi driver's daughter was articulate, positive, intuitive, and well travelled. The Observer and her got along famously. They made a European connection. She got along well with every one at the table. I was impressed with her English. The only time she was a bit hard to understand was when she ordered pad Thai. The restaurant specializes in bow-tie pasta, so the waitress thought she said "bow-tie" instead of "pad Thai." It's an easy mistake.

The Observer and I shared yummy, buttery, greasy garlic bread and he had chicken bow-tie pasta. I had salad with chicken. Almost everyone at the table at dessert. The Observer had this classy looking fondue with strawberries, pound cake and brownies. He had trouble manipulating the fondue fork, but I was still impressed. I had a chocolate brownie with whipped cream and caramel sauce. It was a fun night. As weird as the dinner sounds to the average person, I am so glad I went. Each guest was special. A table full of good people makes any dinner better.

My bus rides were smooth. Every driver was friendly. I ran into an acquaintance while waiting for my last bus. She's a bit different, but I enjoyed talking to her. She can be cold, but was quite friendly yesterday. I gave her the benefit of the doubt by starting up a conversation and was pleasantly surprised. At home, I decided to try to unpack my backpack on my own. I put my medication and fruit away without trouble, but knocked my pill dish onto the floor. It shattered into pieces. The Observer gave it to me for our first Valentine's Day. The dish is shaped like a heart and says, "I love you." I should have waited for help, but my independent streak overcame me.

The Observer and I had a sweet late night chat. I am reading Talk To The Hand by Lynn Truss about rudeness in society. Truss talks about politeness and unwritten rules. Last night's dinner was a bit of bending of normal social behaviour, but it was the right thing to do. Life doesn't operate in a straight line and sometimes rules need breaking. I only wish pill dishes didn't.


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